Review: Bad Like Us by Gabriella Lepore

Bad Like UsBad Like Us by Gabriella Lepore
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

**3.5-stars rounded up**

Bad Like Us is the most recently released YA Mystery from Gabriella Lepore. This fast-paced novel hit shelves in early March and I couldn’t wait to get to it.

After enjoying this author’s last two novels, I was expecting a certain vibe and it delivered exactly what I wanted.

In this story, we’re following a group of teens setting out together to spend Spring Break at a rustic lodge on the Oregon coast. The lodge is owned by one of the teen’s Uncles, making it free and all theirs for the week.

Unencumbered by adult supervision, the kids are looking to party, spend time together and just relax, shaking off recent stressors, of which there are many.

The group, in and of itself, has some complications. At the heart of most of the drama seems to be Piper. Her constant live streams and pot-stirring attitude have everyone on edge. Can’t she give it a break?

It’s not solely Piper though, there are definitely other tensions brimming just under the surface that make the environment, shall we say, touchy.

Our main perspectives are Eva and Colton. I enjoyed both of these characters and the audiobook did have dual narrators which was great for making their voices distinct.

After a night featuring a campfire on the beach, some adult bevys, and high levels of interpersonal drama, one of the teens is found dead the next morning. The police swoop in and a tense investigation into them all begins.

I enjoy the way Gabriella Lepore builds out teen friendship groups. This is a feature of all of the books that I have read from her and I always get pulled into their lives easily. I also feel like the mysteries are always solid and engaging.

I loved the setting of this one and the set-up of the teens being on Spring Break. A lot of secrets are being kept amongst the group and it ended up going much deeper than I initially anticipated, which I appreciated.

Overall, this was another fun one from Lepore. I’ll continue to pick up all of her releases. If you enjoy YA Mysteries, and haven’t read her work yet, you should give her a shot!

Thank you to the publisher, Inkyard Press, for providing me with a copy to read and review.

Lepore never fails to entertain me and I’m looking forward to picking up whatever she puts out next.

Bad Like Us is available now!!

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Review: Dead Girls Walking by Sami Ellis

Dead Girls WalkingDead Girls Walking by Sami Ellis
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Dead Girls Walking is a recent YA Horror release. One that I had been very anxious to pick up. The publisher’s synopsis, as well as the intriguing cover, had my full attention.

It looks like this is a debut novel for author, Sami Ellis, and while I can appreciate the author’s creativity and ambition, the story did not work for me, unfortunately.

I considered giving it 3-stars, but I have to be honest about my experience. For me, a 3-star book is something I liked, but that didn’t blow me away and may have minor issues. I just don’t think this one reached that status for me.

I’m not going to say anything about the plot. Please read the synopsis for more info. I barely understood what was happening and had to refer to the synopsis multiple times to try to get my bearings. Because of this, I feel I have nothing further to add in that regard.

And here we come to the heart of the issue for me. I found this narrative style confusing as heck. It felt like being dropped off at a movie halfway through, taking multiple bathroom breaks, and still being expected to understand what’s going on. Spoiler Alert: I didn’t.

It never succeeded in grabbing my attention. Additionally, the cast of characters, besides our MC, Temple, all blended together for me, and by the end, I just wanted it to be over.

With this being said, just because this one didn’t work for me, doesn’t mean it won’t work for you. I have seen some great reviews, I just feel like it was a miss for my tastes.

Thank you to the publisher, Amulet Books and RB Media, for providing me with a copy to read and review.

I am interested it picking up more from this author in the future. I feel like maybe a different concept could help me engage more with their writing style.

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Review: Pretty Dead Queens by Alexa Donne

Pretty Dead QueensPretty Dead Queens by Alexa Donne
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I freaking loved this. A 5-star YA Mystery that’s highly underrated, IMO. Pretty Dead Queens is perfect for fans of Kara Thomas or Karen M. McManus!!

In this story, which is set in a small coastal town called Seaview, in California, we follow 17-year old, Cecelia Ellis, who goes to live with her estranged Grandmother following her Mom’s untimely death.

Cecelia’s Grandmother isn’t an ordinary Grandmother though. She happens to be a world-renowned Mystery author. She’s wealthy, feisty, lives in a gorgeous Victorian mansion, and pretty much has the entire town of Seaview wrapped around her little finger.

As the granddaughter to such a powerful figure, it’s no surprise that once she starts school, Cecelia gets enveloped by the popular crowd.

Her transition to her new environment is going way better than she ever could have expected. She has friends, a comfortable new home and even a couple of love interests. Even though she misses her Mom with every breath, it’s hard to complain about her current circumstances.

The town of Seaview is preparing for Homecoming, which is also a time when they think back on a tragedy that shocked the town decades before, when the Homecoming Queen was slain on the night of her coronation.

50-years earlier, Caroline Quinn’s body was found in the school pool, drowned on what should have been the most fun night of her life. A local man was convicted of the crime and is still serving time in prison.

Cecelia’s grandmother based her first novel on this crime and to this day, it remains one of her most popular stories.

On the Friday of Homecoming weekend, Cecelia finds herself in desperate need of a bathroom. She’s been watching the football game and at halftime all the bathrooms closer to the field are full. She can’t wait.

Cecelia knows there are locker rooms by the pool, so maybe she can find a free stall there. Unfortunately, what she finds instead is a dead body floating in the pool, practically a mirror-image of Caroline, all those years ago.

It seems the town has a copycat killer on their hands. Cecelia becomes obsessed with finding out the truth behind the crime. The dead girl was her friend, she needs to find justice for her, but what if one of her other friends is to blame?

I had so, so, so much fun with this story. The set-up and cast of small town characters were straight out of a classic mystery book. I loved the seaside setting and a new girl trope is something I always enjoy.

I liked how easily Cecelia slipped into her new life. It made sense in the context of who her Grandmother was that everyone would want to be close to Cecelia, and count her as one of their friends. She was an auto-It Girl.

I think Donne did an excellent job of tying in the history of the town, in particular, the case of the murder of Caroline all those years before, with the current mystery. I absolutely love stories that are set in small towns full of secrets, which describes this book to a tee.

I also appreciated how quickly this one kicks off. The setting itself provides a bit of an ominous tone, and you know something is going to happen, but it was fun getting there.

Cecelia also took to her role of amateur sleuth so well. She really wanted answers and was willing to put herself at risk in order to get those answers. I like that. It was dogging her and she wasn’t going to back down.

I feel like in a way, the mystery took her mind off the loss of her Mom, so I’m sure in that respect, it was helpful to her.

The side characters were all great too. I found myself really getting swept up in the town drama. It was interesting to watch Cecelia, as the outsider, navigate it all.

I feel like this is so underrated at this point and I feel like I am going to be championing it from here on out.

If you love YA Mysteries, you should absolutely check this one out. It’s so much fun. It’s got a classic, campy feel that I will always show up for.

Thank you to the publisher, Crown Books for Young Readers, for providing me with a copy to read and review. I’m so sorry it took me such a long time to get to it.

Silver lining: it was well worth the wait!!!

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Review: Everfound (Skinjacker #3) by Neal Shusterman

Everfound (3) (The Skinjacker Trilogy)Everfound (3) by Neal Shusterman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

**4.5-stars rounded up**

Everfound is the final book of Neal Shusterman’s backlist series, Skinjacker. I started this trilogy last Fall, Buddy Reading it with a friend, and we both fell in love with it.

Admittedly, this final book did take me three months to finish, but at no point was that a reflection on my enjoyment level. I was loving it, I just didn’t have the time to pick it up as often as I would have hoped.

However, even though I was distracted by 1,000,001-new releases, it’s a testament to this book that no matter how much time I took away from it, whether it was 5-days, or 2-weeks, I never had a difficult time remembering who the characters were, or what was happening.

I found this entire series so unique and memorable. If you aren’t aware, this story follows souls, more specifically the souls of young people, who don’t get where they need to go and are stuck in a limbo land known as Everlost.

Everlost is like an eerie, distorted version of our own world and there’s a lot of souls trapped there. I loved learning about this place and feel like Shusterman was able to create a complicated and detailed world in a fully accessible way. It’s easy to understand and engaging.

As this is the third book, a lot has happened by the time we get to this point. Even from the start of this you can feel the tension continuing to build. It feels like a major showdown is on the horizon; between good and evil forces.

The various characters were like pieces in a chess game. There’s a lot of moves made in this story, lining up the pieces where they need to be for the finale to occur.

There’s a lot of action in these books, but the characters are also extremely well done. You get attached to them and my emotions were all over the place. It’s intense and at times sad, while definitely providing a lot of food for thought.

Overall, I feel like this is a fantastic series that has stood the test of time. While it’s over a decade old, it didn’t feel dated to me at all. Additionally, I feel like the philosophical nature of this can provide enjoyment to Readers of all ages.

I would absolutely recommend this series. It has an interesting full cast of characters, strong action and is extremely well plotted.

I’m so very glad that I made the time for it!!

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Review: Dungeons & Drama by Kristy Boyce

Dungeons and DramaDungeons and Drama by Kristy Boyce
My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Dungeons and Drama is truly adorable. It made my nerd heart so happy and left me wanting more from this author!

This YA Romantic Comedy features a fake dating trope and lots of cute, fun and witty character moments.

In this story we follow Riley, a theater girl, who gets busted taking her Mom’s car without permission to go see a show in the city. With her best friend in tow, the girls take the risk, and sadly, don’t get away with it.

Riley gets grounded. She’s allowed no extracurriculars and as extra punishment, she has to start working at her Dad’s game store after school.

She’s barely ever set foot in the store and has no interest in games. All Riley cares about right now is getting the High School Spring Musical, currently canceled due to budgetary considerations, back on.

Her life is a mess without the possibility of the Musical. She can hardly think of anything else. Well, there’s a few other things she thinks about: her uncomfortable relationship with her Dad, her ex-boyfriend succeeding in all things theater and the fact that he’s driving her nuts.

A new co-worker at the store, cute and shy boy, Nathan, could be exactly what Riley needs. She convinces him to pretend they’re into one another. Her ex now thinks she’s moved on and the girl that Nathan likes is suddenly more interested in him, eaten up with jealousy because of Riley.

All is going to plan, until Riley realizes that flirting with Nathan is no longer much of an act. Have her plans gone too far? Is she falling for the D&D boy at the game store?

This book was so lovey. I read it in a day and got completely swept up in the story. I loved both Riley and Nathan. They were both incredibly earnest and naive, but in a way that felt natural to the story and works for the YA-genre.

I also enjoyed exploring Riley’s relationship with her Dad. As a child of divorce, who lives with her Mom, Riley has felt sort of abandoned by her Dad. He’s not a bad person, you can tell how me he loves her, but their communication at the start isn’t great.

I loved watching the time they spent together at the store have such an impact on the way they communicated with one another. I felt like that development was just as satisfying as the romantic portions of this story.

But yeah, the romance was pretty sweet. It was just so cute, I can’t think of another way to describe. I was crushing right along with Riley. Nathan is a pretty special guy.

I loved how he got Riley to join his D&D group; which was one of my favorite parts of this story. She ended up really enjoying it and was even able to channel some of her musical talents in her role as a bard.

I think as far as YA Rom-Com stories go, this has to be one of my faves. I feel like it was just really well executed. The character work was fantastic and I loved the messages and themes explored throughout.

I would definitely recommend this to any YA Contemporary Reader, particularly if you are a fan of RPGs, or the theater. This was a perfect blend of those things for me!

Thank you so much to the publisher, Delacorte Press, for providing me with a copy to read and review. I’m really looking forward to reading more from Kristy Boyce.

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Review: The Other Lola by Ripley Jones

The Other LolaThe Other Lola by Ripley Jones
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The Other Lola is a follow-up to the 2023-release, Missing Clarissa. These are YA-Mystery stories following two main characters: Blair and Cam.

In Missing Clarissa, Cam and Blair investigate the disappearance of popular cheerleader, Clarissa Campbell, who went missing from their small town of Oreville, Washington, 20-years before.

It starts as a project for their high school Journalism class and ends up being a viral podcast, as well as a life-endangering pursuit of amateur sleuthing.

At the end of the Clarissa case, Cam and Blair had sudden fame, but with it, a lot of unwanted attention. They vowed to never do it again; to stick their noses in where they don’t belong, to make a podcast, none of it.

Then they meet Mattie, a Freshman at their high school. Mattie shows up on the literal doorstep, begging for the girls’ help with an unsettling family situation.

Mattie’s sister, Lola, disappeared mysteriously five years ago. The thing is, Lola has returned. She’s not talking about where she has been all these years, and Mattie is convinced she’s an imposter, but no one else believes Mattie; not her mother, not her brother, Luke, no one.

Blair and Cam, Blair in particular, are moved by Mattie’s story. They seem so passionate about it. It couldn’t hurt to help them out, could it? Look into it a little…

Before they know it, the two are neck deep in another dangerous investigation, but with secrets between them, how will they ever be able to get to the bottom of someone else’s twisted family drama?

I was intrigued by this initially, and did enjoy following Cam and Blair during the investigation. For me, it wasn’t quite as compelling as the first book, but yeah, still a solid story.

The audiobook has great narration and I would recommend that format. I was able to fly through this story and I did find that the narrator helped to keep me engaged, even when I was rolling my eyes a little bit.

I felt like, and I could be misremembering, but for me, personal issues for Blair and Cam took much more of a front seat in this one than the first book. In a way, this almost felt like a straight YA Contemporary story, with a slight mystery happening in the background.

By this I mean, the mystery almost took a back seat to Cam and Blair’s interpersonal dramas. With this being said though, I do really enjoy both Cam and Blair as characters and I love their friendship.

So, it’s not like I was disappointed with those aspects of the story, it just seemed more difficult to get as invested in the mystery surrounding Lola because of it.

Additionally, there were things at the end that I found unsatisfying; that just didn’t make sense. I am mainly referring to the events following the big reveal, so sadly, I can’t comment more without giving the ending away.

Overall though, I still enjoyed Cam and Blair, their friendship and the idea of two smart high school girls taking on the world and solving mysteries. That’s a fun concept, which is fairly well executed within these stories.

There are hints that there could be more with these characters in the future. I would be interested in picking up future books, if that turns out to be the case.

Thank you to the publisher, Wednesday Books and Macmillan Audio, for providing me with a copy to read and review. The Other Lola is available now!!!

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Review: Star Wars (The High Republic): Defy the Storm by Justina Ireland and Tessa Gratton

Defy the Storm (Star Wars: The High Republic)Defy the Storm by Tessa Gratton
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Defy the Storm is another action-packed installment to the High Republic era of the Star Wars Canon.

Known as the Golden Age of the Jedi, the High Republic era predates all previously released Canon materials.

This is a YA story, co-written by two veteran Star Wars contributors, Justina Ireland and Tessa Gratton, and is considered part of Phase III of the High Republic roll-out.

To put it in basic timeline order, at this point, the Nihil have destroyed the Starlight Beacon and have erected a barrier, the Stormwall, around territory they are now claiming as their own, an area known as the Occlusion Zone.

I got to know many of this era’s recurring characters more intimately through this novel, which I appreciated.

We follow multiple different perspectives, including Avon Starros, one of my favorite characters, Jedi Knight, Vernestra Rwoh, former frontier deputy, Jordanna Sparkburn, and the human physicist, Xylan Graf.

Efforts are made by this group to cross the Nihil Stormwall, in order to save any Republic members trapped on the other side. A top priority for rescue is Vern’s Padawan, Imri Cantaros, once thought lost on the Starlight Beacon.

I’ve read quite a few of the High Republic releases. Not all of them, but many. Enough to recognize the full cast of characters presented here and I loved being back with them.

Seeing them come together to work towards a common goal, fighting back against the Nihil, was very satisfying.

I particularly enjoyed the personal journeys that Avon and Vern went on over the course of the story. I feel like they both grew so much and learned a lot about themselves.

As mentioned above, Avon is one of my favorite characters and I easily stick by that after this installment. She’s still working to get out from under the shadow of things her mother, a former Galactic Empire Senator, has done and I just feel for her so much.

Avon’s mother is now on the side of the Nihil and it’s because of her actions they were able to successfully strike down the Starlight Beacon. I don’t blame Avon for wanting nothing to do with her anymore, still, that’s tough for a kid.

I had the pleasure of listening to the audiobook and as always, I would ABSOLUTELY recommend that format. If you’ve never listened to a Star Wars audiobook before, particularly the newer ones, you just have to do so.

It’s such an incredible listening experience. The sound effects, music and voice-work bring these stories to life. In fact, this one had so much action, it had be jumping at some of the intense sounds and moments.

Thank you to the publisher, Disney LucasFilms Press and Disney Audio, for providing me with a copy to read and review. I’ve been impressed with all of the High Republic materials that I have read.

It’s amazing to me how the authors for this era continue to bring all the heart to plots that are mainly action. It’s really interesting how much I am feeling for these characters and I love it. I can’t wait for more!!

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Review: Didn’t See That Coming by Jesse Q. Sutanto

Didn't See That ComingDidn’t See That Coming by Jesse Q. Sutanto
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Didn’t See That Coming is a companion sequel to Jesse Q. Sutanto’s 2022-YA Rom-Com, Well, That Was Unexpected, a book I loved with my whole freaking heart.

It ended up being my favorite Romantic Comedy of that year, and in fact is probably my favorite ever. In fact, I stated in my review that I would fall on a sword for it. I stick by that.

I just want to get it out of the way early that I am a huge Jesse Q. Sutanto fan. If you frequently read my reviews, you probably know this already, and may even be sick of hearing me singing her praises.

Too bad, I say, because if she keeps cranking out wildly-enjoyable stories like this, those praises are going to continue raining down for a long time to come.

In this book we are following Kiki, who is the cousin of Sharlot, the leading lady from Well, That Was Unexpected. Kiki is attractive and popular, just your typical teen girl in Jakarta, except Kiki has a secret.

She’s a fabulous gamer, but no one in her real life really knows how good she actually is. After running into hugely sexist attitudes in the gamer community, Kiki changed her username to one where all of her teammates and opponents will think she’s one of them, a bro.

Playing anonymously has allowed her to just play, instead of having people treat her differently because she is a girl. She’s even made some good friends, in particular, one boy whose username is Sourdawg.

When Kiki’s parents make her transfer schools to an elite private school, her world is flipped upside down. Once the popular girl with a horde of IRL friends, Kiki is now at the bottom of the pecking order.

The school’s golden boy even singles her out, gives her the atrocious nickname of Crazy Kiki and ends up harassing her every day. It’s terrible. Kiki can’t believe that the other kids just sit back and let this little despot control them all.

She ends up turning to her now normal interactions with Sourdawg for comfort during this difficult transition period. Then the unexpected happens. As it turns out, Sourdawg, who she thought lived in an entirely different country, actually lives in Jakarta and goes to her new school!

But who is he? And what will he do when he finds out that Kiki is Kiki, a girl! He’s opened up to her, thinking she was just a bro. It’s too late for her to come clean, she’s in too deep. He’ll hate her. This throws Kiki into a tailspin, as over the months, she’s fallen for him hard.

I really enjoyed my time with this story. It had actually been so long since I first read the synopsis, I had forgotten that it was a companion novel. I was very happy to be with Kiki again, because I thought she was so dynamic and fun in Well, That Was Unexpected.

I listened to the audio and highly recommend that format. The narration was very well done and brought Kiki to life for me. I felt like I was listening to her tell me her story.

Additionally, this ended up being a lot more than a light and fluffy Rom-Com. It surprised me the level of thoughtful substance Sutanto brought to the page.

I would love to hear Sutanto talk about her inspiration and process for this one. As I feel like this story, as far as the gaming elements, the sexism experienced as a female player, really came from the heart. I’m left wondering how much of her own experiences she channeled into this.

Sutanto’s signature humor and style were still here on full display, but it also tackled some fairly serious topics. I feel like Kiki’s story, read at the right time, by the right Reader, could hit real hard.

Overall, I found this to be a super cute, engaging story of a girl trying to find stability and her place in an entirely new landscape. The romance was well paced and I’m so happy with the ultimate outcome.

I’d love to see another companion novel in this series. The setting of Jakarta is fun and I love just this entire group of characters. I definitely think there are more stories to tell among this group of young people!

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Review: A Reckless Oath (Heartless Fates #2) by Kaylie Smith

A Reckless Oath (Heartless Fates #2)A Reckless Oath by Kaylie Smith
My rating: 4 of 5 stars


A Reckless Oath is the sequel to Kaylie Smith’s 2023-YA Fantasy release, A Ruinous Fate.

I had so much fun with that 1st-book, becoming extremely invested in the characters. I couldn’t wait to find out where the story was going after the jaw-dropping conclusion.

This story drops you right back, smack dab into the middle of this vast and complex world. The author doesn’t provide much of a refresher regarding the events of the 1st-book, so you better come prepared.

Sadly, I wasn’t prepared. It had been about 13-months since I read A Ruinous Fate, and while I did remember the gist of the story, a lot of the finer details were lost to time.

Because of that, it did take me a little while to find my bearings with this one.

The Heartless Fates series features lots of different magical beings, including Witches, Valkyries and Sirens. There’s a magic system that I’m still not 100% clear on, and there’s a fairly large cast of characters.

Somehow though, it all works. The characters are endearing, the world is vast and interesting, as is the overarching plot. Even though I’m slightly confused half the time, I still really enjoy these books.

It’s got a magical-Epic Fantasy feel that’s just addicting.

After the events of the first book, our main cast of characters has been torn apart. This book features each of them trying to pick up the pieces of their lives and progress forward in preparation for the oncoming war.

It’s like a game of chess, each character is a piece, moving step-by-step across the board, calculating, but are they all still on the same side?

Out of all the different perspectives, I think I loved Delphine’s the most. She’s a Siren and has returned to her home for the first time after an extended absence.

I found the Siren community to be fascinating. Their politics, interactions, etc., I almost wish that whole perspective could have been its own book.

I did still really enjoy Calla’s perspective though, as well. Amina in the land of the Valkyrie’s was also exciting. Together though, at times, with the back-and-forth, it did feel a little jarring.

There’s new revelations in this book that definitely help to progress the overall plot of the series. Relationships have developed further and the intensity has increased. You can feel something building. War is imminent.

Overall, while I found this to be a bit chaotic and occasionally hard to follow, I still am really, really enjoying these characters and this world.

I’m excited to see where it goes next.

Thank you so much to the publisher, Disney Hyperion, for providing me with a copy to read and review.

I truly enjoy Kaylie Smith’s writing and will continue picking these books up!

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Review: The Dragon’s Promise (Six Crimson Cranes #2) by Elizabeth Lim

The Dragon’s Promise (Six Crimson Cranes, #2)The Dragon’s Promise by Elizabeth Lim
My rating: 4 of 5 stars


The Dragon’s Promise is the follow-up to Elizabeth Lim’s fabulous YA-Fantasy novel, Six Crimson Cranes.

I have had this on my shelves since its release, but couldn’t read it, because I hadn’t gotten around to reading the 1st-book yet. Also, a long-time veteran of my shelves.

Earlier this month, I finally decided to pick up Six Crimson Cranes and I absolutely adored it. I fell in love with the world, as well as the characters. I had to have more.

After the heart-breaking conclusion to SCC, I needed to know immediately what was going to be next for our protagonist, Shiori. There were a lot of possibilities.

This story begins with Shiori now in possession of the powerful dragon’s pearl. Her goal is to return it to its original owner, but that is not to be an easy task.

At its heart this is a quest, which works well for me as that’s one of my favorite Fantasy tropes. It also features most of the characters that I grew to love in the first installment.

We travel to places such as the dragon realm and to Shiori’s step-mother’s homeland. The brothers are back supporting Shiori and offering her guidance when she needs it.

Her love interest, Takkan, also played a role here and I ended up loving him even more after this. They have the cutest relationship. The way it developed over the course of the two books just feels so natural. They’re easy to root for.

While I still loved the writing, the characters and the world, I didn’t enjoy this one quite as much as the first book.

I know this doesn’t get said a lot, but I actually wish this had been longer. By that, what I really mean, is that I wish it had been broken into two books.

This feels, in a way, like two distinct stories. We have the first part, where Shiori gets to travel to the dragon realm. In the second part, she returns to the mortal realm and travels around there and does what she needs to do.

Personally, I loved the dragon realm and wish we could have spent more time there. There was a lot of political happenings and interesting new characters that I wanted to know more about.

Then in the same vein, the mortal realm section was just as interesting, but I also wanted to know more. It just felt rushed and like the two halves were smooshed together, when Lim’s fantastic writing could easily have carried this into two separate books.

With this being said, I still really enjoyed this story. It’s actually a compliment to say I wanted more.

I loved how quickly this kicked off. Having read the two books pretty much back-to-back made this a seamless experience for me. I love the lore behind the dragon pearl and learning more about that along with Shiori was so fun.

I can’t wait to the get to the prequel, Her Radiant Curse, which tells the story of Shiori’s step-mother, Raikama.

She is actually one of the most intriguing characters in this series for me, so I am so happy that prequel exists. She needs her time to shine!

I would recommend this series to anyone who loves YA Fantasy, particularly stories that incorporate fairy tale elements, or quests. Elizabeth Lim’s writing never disappoints. It’s always engaging and fast-paced.

Thank you to the publisher, Knopf Books for Young Readers, for providing me with a copy to read and review. I’m sorry it took me so long to get to it. This is a fabulous series!!

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